Working with a variety of historical museums and sites to create original material that celebrates the site’s story gives me the opportunity to get young visitors excited about history and buildings. Some children may be recalcitrant visitors to historic sites, but with the right material and an engaging experience, they will undoubtedly declare history to be cool! I keep a kid’s perspective, by making the material I develop fun, creative, hands-on, light, and at times, kinesthetic, but still strongly rooted in historic fact.
A few examples of my work for historical museums and sites:
For the organization Friends of the High Line, I developed the content of the three different school-visit programs and wrote a “script” for implementation by an educator. One program focuses on the history of the High Line; another tells about the native plants; and the third introduces students to the design concept of the High Line’s redevelopment. Additionally, I created original lesson plans that are posted on the web for grades 2 – 7.
At the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP), I’ve had the chance to expand their educational offerings. GVSHP has had an in-school preservation and history program since 1991, but I created the material (lessons, and walking tour guide) for a program that tells the story of the South Village’s immigrant community, and another program that traces Greenwich Village’s history through one street, Bleecker Street.
For the Alice Austen Museum, I created three three-part curricula for use in the classroom and at the museum. The idea was that an educator would first visit the classroom, then the class would come to the museum, and then the educator would return to the classroom for a culminating art-based activity. I also developed pre- and post-visit materials. The Alice Austen, Photographer is in use at the museum.